Love Your City

By Kinsey Tucker, Partnership Coordinator

I love living in Joplin.

 

I love that we have an engaged church community that actively seeks to help whenever needed.

 

I love that we have over 100 restaurants to enjoy.

 

I love that there are beautiful parks maintained wonderfully by the city.

 

I love walking down Main Street on a warm spring afternoon.

 

I love the local coffee shop with its cozy atmosphere and familiar faces.

 

I love the way this community rebuilt after tragedy and the strength that took.

 

I love that I can meet a homeowner one time and I am already welcomed in like family, with offers of sweet tea and comfy chairs.

 

I love that the summer staff arrived recently to twenty Journey Church members cheering them in.

 

I love this welcoming place.

I will not pretend there are not difficulties and challenges facing my neighbors. But I will choose to focus first and foremost on the gifts each of those neighbors has, rather than their challenges. I will choose to see this community for the joys it consistently brings me.

That’s not something that happens very frequently here. We have a ton of caring nonprofits and church organizations, who can sometimes jump right to solving a need instead of starting the conversation with gifts. But we could start a revolution by simply flipping our perspectives. Focus on gifts, not on needs and problems. The needs and problems will naturally come up in conversation but we can elevate and empower our neighbors when we start with strengths. 

My prayer for every student and leader coming on a trip this summer is that their first instinct would be to see gifts here in Joplin. I pray that my neighbors would do the same. I pray that we would look around and see the joys of this place and the strength of our community instead of focusing on our own weaknesses. As we strengthen as a community, our gifts can help each other. I pray that as students go home to their own communities that they would have a newfound love and joy in the beauty that surrounds them.

Flip your perspective; love your city.

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